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Have you checked your balls? 4 steps to prevent testicular cancer

Dr. Akin-Onitolo A.




The best type of treatment for cancer is to detect it early, hence, the need for self examination. Checking regularly will help you know what is normal for you and if there are any unusual changes.

Here are 4 useful Steps to detect cancer of the testicles:

1. Position – it is advised that you check at least once a month, while you are bathing ideally so that the muscle in the scrotum is relaxed.

2. Feel – gently run your hand along each testicle, one after the other. You should feel a tube at the back of each testicle running from its top to bottom; this is the epididymis that stores and carries sperm, it is usually soft. You may feel slight pain when you touch this tube, just don’t panic thinking it is abnormal. There is also another tube that runs upwards from the epididymis, and out of the scrotum known as the spermatic cord. It is firm and smooth and contains several important structures. Don’t forget to feel the testicle itself. Expect a firm, smooth surface. There should be no swellings or bumps as you run your hand over them.

3. Compare – if unsure of how your testicle should feel, compare with the opposite side. It is unusual to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time. Look out for any difference in size and abnormal swellings.

4. Report – if you do notice anything abnormal like an unusual lump or swelling, a change in size or volume, please have it checked by your doctor as quickly as possible. Although most swellings are simply fluid collections, infection or cysts, testicular cancer often starts as a small, hard and painless lump. And 90% of such cancers are treated successfully.  The key to successful treatment though is picking it early, way before it spreads to other parts of the body. Waiting and doing nothing because you hope it will go away, or because you fear you may not survive is never a good move.


You know your body better than anyone else. Checking your testicles regularly, at least once a month is ideal. So begin today. Spread the word. Stay healthy.


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Dr. Akin-onitolo A. is a graduate of the University of Lagos whose mission is to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) using health promotion and improved health literacy. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who had her elective at King's College London. Hugely interested in travel, meeting people and generally being creative, reading and writing fiction are a few hobbies you could find her engaged in during her spare time. Catch up with her on Twitter @Akinonitolo and Instagram @t_onitolo